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Afro-Asian Literature

ASIA dialogue between the warrior prince


Arjuna and his friend and charioteer
Khrishna (an earthly incarnation of the
I. India god Vishnu).
Indian Caste System  Ramayana- composed by the poet
Valmiki, it reflects the Hindu values and
1. Brahmans or Brahmins - the intellectuals forms of social organization , the theory of
and the priestly class who perform religious
karma, the ideals of lifehood, feelings
rituals about caste, honor and promises.
2. Kshatriya (nobles or warriors)- who
3. Classical Period (A.D. – 1000A.D.)
traditionally had power Main literary language is Sanskrit which means
3. Vaishyas (commoners or merchants) -
‘perfect speech’ and is considered sacred
ordinary people who produce, farm, trade language spoken by gods and goddesses. As
and earn a living such, it is seen as the only appropriate language
4. Shudras (workers) - who traditionally for the noblest literary works.
served the higher classes, including laborers,
 Pachatantra- collection of beast fables
artists, musicians, and clerks
originally written in Sanskrit. In Europe, it
A. Literary Periods known as The Fables of Bidpai after the
narrator and sage named Bidpai
1. Vedic Period (1500 B.C.-500B.C.) (Vidyapati in Indian). It is intended as a
This period is named for the Vedas, a set of textbook for artha (earthly wisdom).
hymns are considered the earliest literary  Sakuntala- a Sanskrit drama by Kalidasa,
record of Indo-Aryan civilization and the most tells the love between Sakuntala and King
sacred books of India. They are the original Dushyanta. Rasa (emotions) dominates
scriptures of Hindu teachings, containing every Sanskrit drama.
spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of  The Little Clay Cart (Mrccchakatika)-
life. It is believed that these have been revealed written by Shudraka, a king.
to humans directly by the gods. 4. Medieval and Modern Age (A.D. 1000-
 Rigveda means hymns of supreme sacred present) In the 18th century, India was directly
knowledge” is often comparable to the under the British crown until the its
psalms in the Old Testament. independence in 1947. British influence was
2. Epic and Buddhist Age (500 B.C. - A.D.) strong and modern-day Indians are primarily
The period composition of the two epics, educated in English.
Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Dhammapada  Gitanjali: Song Offerings- Tagore uses
was also probably composed during this period. imagery from nature to express the
 Mahabharata (Great Epic of the themes of love and internal conflict
Bharata Dynasty) - chronicled by the between spiritual longings and earthly
sage Vyasa, it has the honor of being the desires.
longest epic in world literature, 100,000  The Taj Mahal- a poem by Sahir
2-line stanzas. It tells the struggle for Ludhianvi
supremacy between two groups of  On Learning To be an Indian- an essay
cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas. It is by Santha Rama Bau illustrates the telling
an exposition of dharma (codes of effects of colonization on the lives of the
conduct) including the proper conduct of people particularly the younger
a king, a warrior, etc. generation. The writer humorously
 Bhagavad Gita (The Blessed Lord’s narrates the conflicts that arise between
song) - is a Hindu scripture that is part of her grandmother’s traditional Indian
the epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of values and the author’s own British
the 6th book). It is written in a form of a upbringing.
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B. Religions king and as a strict adherent to
dharma.
1. Hinduism o Krishna- the teacher of the sacred
Literally “the belief of the people of India,” is the scripture called the Bhagavad Gita and
predominant faith in India and of no other nation. as the friend and mentor of prince
Hinduism is a pantheistic religion: It equates God Arjuna in the epic the Mahabharata.
with the universe. Yet Hindu religion is also  Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning- is the
polytheistic: populated with myriad gods and consort of Brahma the Creator and is
goddesses who personify aspects of the one true worshipped as the goddess of learning,
God, allowing individuals an infinite number of wisdom, speech, and music. Hindus offer
ways to worship based on family tradition, prayer to Saraswati before beginning any
community and regional practices, and other intellectual pursuit, and Hindu students are
considerations. encouraged to offer prayers to her during the
school/college term and especially before and
Here are just some of the many Hindu gods and during examinations.
goddesses:  Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune,
 Brahma, the Creator- Brahma is the first wealth, and well-being- As the consort of
member of the Hindu Trinity and is “the Vishnu, she plays a role in every incarnation.
Creator” because he periodically creates (She is Sita, wife of Rama; Rukmini, wife of
everything in the universe. Krishna; and Dharani, wife of Parashu Rama,
 Vishnu, the Preserver- Vishnu is the second another avatar of Vishnu.)
member of the Hindu Trinity. He maintains the  Durga Devi- a powerful, even frightening
order and harmony of the universe, which is goddess who fights fiercely in order to restore
periodically created by Brahma and dharma (moral order). Yet, while Durga is
periodically destroyed by Shiva to prepare for terrifying to her adversaries, she is full of
the next creation. Vishnu is the pervader — the compassion and love for her devotees.
divine essence that pervades the universe.  Indra, the King of Heaven and lord of the
 Shiva, the Destroyer- the third member of the gods- Indra wields a thunderbolt and is a
Hindu Trinity, tasked with destroying the protector and provider of rain.
universe in order to prepare for its renewal at  Surya, the sun- Surya (or Soorya) is a golden
the end of each cycle of time. Shiva’s warrior arriving on a chariot pulled by seven
destructive power is regenerative: It’s the white horses.
necessary step that makes renewal possible.
 Agni, the fire god- the sacrificer (the priest
 Ganapati, the Remover of Obstacles- also who performs the ceremony); the sacrifice
known as Ganesha, is Shiva’s first son. Lord (the ritual fire and the offerings made into it);
Ganapati, who has an elephant head, occupies and the witness to all rites.
a very special place in the hearts of Hindus
because they consider him the Remover of Core Hindu Concepts:
Obstacles.
 Avatars of Vishnu- The literal meaning of the  Purusarthas- the three ends of man
word avatar is “descent,” and it’s usually o Dharma- virtue, duty, moral, law
understood to mean divine descent. Avatars o Artha- wealth
are savior forms of a god that descend to earth o Kama- love or pleasure
to intervene whenever help is needed to  Moksha- the renunciation of duty, wealth and
restore dharma (moral order) and peace. Two love in order to seek spiritual perfection. It
of Vishnu’s ten avatars are Rama and Krishna. occurs when the soul unites with Brahman by
o Rama- one of the most beloved Hindu realizing its true nature. Several paths can
gods and is the hero of the Hindu epic lead to this realization and unity: the path of
called the Ramayana. He is portrayed duty, the path of knowledge, and the path of
as an ideal son, brother, husband, and devotion (unconditional surrender to God).
 Samsara- cycle of reincarnation refers to the
process of passing from one body to another
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throughout all species of life. Hindus believe o Life is suffering
that consciousness is present in all life forms, o The cause of suffering is desire
even fish and plants. Most Hindus consider o The removal of desire is the removal of
samsara essentially painful, a cycle of 4 suffering
recurring problems: birth, disease, old-age o The Noble Eightfold path leads to the
and death. end of Suffering
 Maya- illusion, everything that seems to  The Noble Eightfold Path
divide the soul from reality Three Qualities Eightfold Path
 Asramas- four phases of the ideally Wisdom (panna) Right View
conducted life Right Thought
o Student stage- applies to the rite of Morality (sila) Right Speech
initiation into the study of Vedas Right Action
o Householder stage- marries and Right Livelihood
fulfills the duties as head of the family Meditation Right Effort
o Forest dweller- departs from home (samadhi) Right Mindfulness
and renounces the social world Right Contemplation
o Ascetic- stops performing any rituals
or social duties of life in the world and  The Dhammapada (Way of Truth)-
devotes time for reflection and anthology of basic Buddhist teachings in
meditation simple aphoristic style. These verses are
 Brahman- the one true God who is formless, compared to the letters of St. Paul or that of
limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. Brahman Christ’s sermon on the Mount.
is not an abstract concept; it is a real entity
that encompasses everything (seen and C. Major Writers and Their Works
unseen) in the universe.
 Atman- refers to the real self beyond ego or 1. Kalidasa- classical Indian author, the greatest
false self. It is often referred to as 'spirit' or Indian writer of all time. His poems suggest
'soul' and indicates our true self or essence that he was a Brahman (priest).
which underlies our existence. It is distinct 2. Rabindranath Tagore- Bengali poet and
from the temporary body made of matter mystic who won the Nobel Prize for Literature
(prakriti). in 1913. His sympathy for poverty is reflected
 Purusha- the Universal spirit, the soul and in his works. Works: Gitanjali: Song Offering
original source of the universe. As a 3. Prem Chand- pseudonym of Dhanpat Rai
personified human being, Purusha’s body is Srivasta. He pioneered in adapting Indian
the source of all creation. themes to Western literary styles.
Works: Sevasadana (House of Service),
2. Buddhism Manasarovar (The Holy Lake), Godan (Gift of
Based on the teachings of Siddharta Gautama, Cow)
called Buddha or the ‘Enlightened One’ 4. Kamala Markandaya- Her works concern the
struggles of contemporary Indians with
conflicting eastern and western values. A
Core Buddhist Concepts:
Brahman, she studied at Madras University
 Karma- refers to action driven by intention
and married an Englishman.
(cetanā) which leads to future consequences.
Works: Nectar in a Sieve
An effect of this is the continual cycle of life,
5. R.K. Narayan- His works typically portray the
death, and suffering.
peculiarities of human relationship s and the
 Nirvana- the highest state that someone can
ironies of Indian daily life, in which modern
attain, a state of enlightenment, meaning a
urban existence clashes with ancient tradition.
person's individual desires and suffering go
Works: Swami and Friends, The English
away.
Teacher, Waiting for the Mahatma, A Tiger of
 Four Noble Truths- the key to attain
Malgudi
Nirvana
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6. Anita Desai- An English-language Indian is added to Confucianism by Mencius
novelist and author of children’s books (muhn shoos) who believed that people
Works: Cry, the Peacock, Clear Light of Day, are basically born good.
Fire on the Mountain
7. Vir Singh- a Sikh writer and theologian, he The Analects (Lun Yu)- The Analects of
extolled Sikh courage, philosophy and ideals. Confucius is an anthology of brief passages that
Works: Kalgi Dhar Chamatkar, Sundri present the words of Confucius and his
8. Arundhati Roy- winner of Man Booker Prize disciples, describe Confucius as a man, and
for Fiction in 1997 recount some of the events of his life.
Works: The God of Small Things
The Book of Changes (I Ching)- a collection of
II. China practical wisdom, pertaining to every
conceivable situation. It originates in ancient
A. Philosophy and Religion China and is the oldest Chinese classical text. "I
Unlike Western religions, Chinese religions are based Ching" means "Classic of Changes" or "Book of
on the perception of life as a continual change in which Changes."
opposing forces, such as heaven and earth or light and 2. Taoism
dark, balance one another. THESE opposites are Also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese
symbolized by the Yin and Yang. religion written by Laozi (Lao Tzu). Taoism is
1. Confucianism about the Tao. This is usually translated as the
Confucianism (rujiao) is a way of life taught by Way. The Tao is not God and is not worshipped.
Confucius (Kong Fuzi) in China in the 6th-5th Taoism includes many deities that are
century BCE. It is not a religion but it makes worshipped in Taoist temples, they are part of
individuals aware of their place in the world and the universe and depend, like everything, on the
the behavior appropriate to it. Tao.

Core Concepts Core Concepts:


 Jen (ren) - human heartedness; goodness;  Tao- the natural course that the world
benevolence, man-to-man-ness; what follows. To follow the tao or ‘to go with the
makes man distinctively human (that flow’ is both wisdom and happiness. The
which gives human beings their Taoist political ideas are very passive: the
humanity). It is the goal of self- cultivation. good king does nothing, and by this
 Li (lee) - principle of gain, benefit, order, everything is done naturally.
propriety; concrete guide to human action.  The One- the essence of Tao, the essential
 The Five Relationships- This energy of life, the possession of which
working out of Li is especially enables things and beings to be truly
important in what Confucianism themselves and in accord with the Tao.
holds as the Five Key Relationships; Taoist texts sometimes refer to the Tao as the
they are the relationship of ruler to mother and the One as the son.
subject, father to son, husband to  Tzu Jan - usually translated naturalness or
wife, elder to younger and friend to spontaneity, but this is rather misleading.
friend. One writer suggests using the phrase 'that
 Yi (yee) - righteousness, the moral which is naturally so', meaning the condition
disposition to do good (also a necessary that something will be in if it is permitted to
condition for jen or for the superior man). exist and develop naturally and without
 Hsiao (showe)- filial piety, reverence interference or conflict.
 Li- propriety and correct behavior. Li is  Wu Wei- The method of following the Tao is
thought to be the means by which life called Wu Wei. This can be translated as
should be regulated. uncontrived action or natural non-
 Zhi- moral wisdom; the source of this intervention. Wu Wei means living by or
virtue is knowledge of right and wrong. It going along with the true nature of the world
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- or at least without obstructing the Tao - 8. Make-up identifies the characters and
letting things take their natural course. This personalities. Costumes help reveal types and
doesn't stop a person living a proactive life different colors signify ranks and status.
but their activities should fit into the natural
pattern of the universe, and therefore need to III. Japan
be completely detached and disinterested Both in quantity and quality, Japanese literature
and not ego-driven. ranks as one of the major literatures of the world,
 Yin Yang- the principle of natural and comparable in age, richness, and volume to
complementary forces, patterns and things English literature, though its course of
that depend on one another and do not make development has been quite dissimilar.
sense on their own. The yin yang concept is
not the same as Western dualism, because Historical Development
the two opposites are not at war, but in
1. Heian Period: 794-1185
harmony.
Classical Japanese literature generally refers
 Ch'I (qi)- the cosmic vital energy that to literature produced during the Heian
enables beings to survive and links them to period, what some would consider a golden
the universe as a whole. era of art and literature.
B. Conventions of the Chinese Theater Important works: Genji Monogatari, The
Pillow Book
1. Chinese drama ay be traced to the song and 2. Kamakura-Muromachi Period: 1185-
dances of the chi (wizards) and wu 1600
(witches) whom the people consulted for evil In the latter half of the twelfth century
spirits. warriors of the Taira clan (Heike) seized
2. There are four principal roles: political power at the imperial court,
 Sheng- leading actor, usually male, a virtually forming a new aristocracy. Medieval
scholar, a statesman, a warrior, a Japanese Literature is marked by the strong
patriot and the like influence of Zen Buddhism, where characters
 Tau- plays all women roles after are priests, travelers, or ascetic poets. Also
women were banned from the Chinese during this period, Japan experienced many
stage as they were looked down upon civil wars which led to the development of a
as courtesan warrior class, and subsequent war tales,
 Ching- brave warriors, bandits, crafty histories, and related stories. Work from this
and evil ministers and at times, god- period is notable for its insights into life and
like or supernatural beings death, simple lifestyles, and redemption
 Chau- clown or jester. He is easily through killing.
recognized for the white patch around Important Works: Renga (successive linked
his eyes and nose, his use of colloquial verses by several people forming a long
language and adeptness in mimicry poem)
and acrobatics. 3. Edo Period: 1600-1868
3. Chinese drama conveys ethical lesson in the It was the renowned seventeenth century
guise of art to impress a moral truth or a poet Matsuo Basho who perfected a new
Confucian tenet. condensed poetic form of 17 syllables (5-7-5)
4. There are two types of speeches: dialogue known as Haiku, an embodiment of elegant
(usually in prose) and monologues simplicity and tranquility. Many genres of
5. Chinese plays last six to seven hours if literature made their debut during the Edo
performed completely Period, helped by a rising literacy rate among
6. The Chinese play is a total theater. There is the growing population of townspeople, as
singing, acrobats, recitation of verses, and well as the development of lending libraries.
playing of traditional instruments. Although there was a minor Western
7. The poetic dialogue, hsieh tzu (wedge) is influence trickling into the country from the
placed at the beginning or in between acts. Dutch settlement at Nagasaki.
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4. Meiji Period: 1868-1945 shrine from the world outside. Worship also
The Meiji period marks the re-opening of happens in homes and at work through simple
Japan to the West, and a period of rapid offerings of rice and tea and prayers. The rice and
industrialization. The introduction of tea is placed on a special shelf called a "godshelf”.
European literature brought free verse into Prayers are often addressed to the family
the poetic repertoire; it became widely used ancestors.
for longer works embodying new intellectual 2. Zen Buddhism
themes. Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Indian Mahayana
During the 1920s and early 1930s the Buddhism and Taoism. It began in China, spread
proletarian literary movement, depicting the to Korea and Japan, and became very popular in
harsh lives of workers, peasants, women, and the West from the mid-20th century. The essence
other downtrodden members of society, and of Zen Buddhism is achieving enlightenment by
their struggles for change. seeing one's original mind (or original nature)
War-time Japan saw the début of several directly; without the intervention of the intellect.
authors best known for the beauty of their Zen disciples believe that one can attain personal
language and their tales of love and tranquility and insights into the true meaning of
sensuality, notably Jun'ichiro Tanizaki and life through rigorous physical and mental
Japan's first winner of the Nobel Prize for discipline.
Literature, Yasunari Kawabata, a master of
psychological fiction.
5. Postwar Period: 1945- Present Socio-Political Concepts
World War II, and Japan's defeat, deeply 1. Giri- connotes duty, justice, honor, decency,
influenced Japanese literature. Many authors respectability and courtesy.
wrote stories of disaffection, loss of purpose, 2. On- a sense of obligation or indebtedness which
and the coping with defeat. propels Japanese to act
Prominent writers of the 1970s and 1980s 3. Seppuku- ritual disembowelment. In Feudal
were identified with intellectual and moral Japan, ‘lost of face’ is saved by seppuku.
issues in their attempts to raise social and
political consciousness. Poetry
One of the oldest and most popular means of
Religion expression and communication in Japanese culture.
1. Shintoism There are different poems according to set forms or
The word Shinto comes from the Chinese word structures:
"Shen-tao" which means "the way of the gods." 1. Choka- consists of alternate lines of five and
Shintoism is an ancient tradition that reveres in seven syllables.
dwelling divine spirits called kami, found in 2. Tanka- Consists of five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllable
natural places and objects. Shintoism is both including at least one caesura.
polytheistic (believing in many gods) and 3. Renga- an interlocking tanka. It is successive
animistic (believing that gods inhabit objects, linked verses by several people forming a long
animals, nature, etc.) poem.
The most important kami is Amaterasu, the sun 4. Hokku- opening of a renga which developed into
goddess. She is believed to be the ancestor to the a distinct literary form known as haiku.
emperors of Japan. Her shrine is at Ise and is the 5. Haiku- Consists of 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables.
most important shrine in Japan. Almost all haikus include a kigo or seasonal words
Shinto places of worship are called shrines and such as snow or cherry blossoms that indicates
are usually found in beautiful natural settings. the time of the year being described.
The shrine contains an Inner Hall which is only
entered by Shinto priests since it is believed kami Drama
are present. Shinto shrines are marked by a
1. Nō- emerged during the 14th century as the
special archway called a torii. This archway is
earliest form of Japanese drama. The plays are
believed to separate the sacred world of the
performed on an almost bare stage by a small
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but elaborately costumed cast of actors wearing He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
masks. The actors are accompanied by a chorus in 1994.
and the plays are written either in verse or in Works: Lavish are the Dead, The Catch, A
highly poetic prose. Personal Matter
2. Kabuki- a lively, melodramatic acting staged
using elaborate and colorful costumes and sets. AFRICA
It is performed with the accompaniment of an
orchestra and generally focus on the lives of the Brief History
common people than the aristocrats. Africa experienced several hardships in its long
3. Jorori (now called Bunraku)- staged using history which left an impact on the themes of its
puppets literature. One hardship which led to many others is
4. Kyogen- a farce traditionally performed that of colonization. Colonization is when people leave
between the Nō tragedies. their country and settle in another land, often one
which is already inhabited. The problem with
Major Writers and Works
colonization is when the incoming people exploit the
1. Matsuo Basho- regarded as the greatest indigenous people and the resources of the inhabited
Haiku poet. He was born into a samurai family land.
then became a Zen Buddhist. Basho means Colonization led to slavery. Millions of African people
‘banana plant.’ were enslaved and brought to Western countries
2. Yasunari Kawabata- won the Nobel prize in around the world from the sixteenth to nineteenth
Literature in 1968. The sense of loneliness and centuries. This spreading of African people, largely
preoccupation with death permeates much of against their will, is called the African Diaspora.
his writing. Sub-Saharan Africa developed a written literature
Works: Snow Country, Thousand Cranes, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
House of the Sleeping Beauties This development came as a result of missionaries
3. Junichiro Tanizaki- a major novelist whose coming to the area. The missionaries came to Africa to
writing is characterized by eroticism and build churches and language schools in order to
ironic wit. translate religious texts. This led to Africans writing in
Works: Some Prefer Nettles, The Makioka both European and indigenous languages.
Sisters, Diary of a Mad Old Man
4. Yukio Mishima- is the pen name of Kamitake Literary Forms
Hiraoka, regarded as the most important
1. Orature- tradition of African oral literature
Japanese novelist of the 20th century. He was
which includes praise poems, love poems, tales,
contemptuous of the materialistic
ritual dramas and moral instructions in the form
Westernized society of Japan in the postwar
of proverbs and fables.
era.
2. Griots- the keepers of oral literature in West
Works: Confessions of a Mask, The Sea of
Africa, may be a professional storyteller, singer or
Fertility Trilogy
entertainer and skilled in creating and
5. Dazai Ozamu- He had psychological conflicts
transmitting the many forms of African oral
arising from his inability to draw a red line
literature.
between his Japaneseness clashing with
3. Lyric Poems- do not tell a story but instead, like
embracing with his embracing the Catholic
songs, create a vivid expressive testament to a
faith.
speaker’s thoughts or emotional state.
Works: The Setting Sun
4. Hymns of Praise songs- offered to the sun god
6. Ryunosuke Akutagawa- He is regarded as
Aten.
the "Father of the Japanese short story."
5. African Proverbs- represents a poetic form that
Works: In a Grove, The Nose, Hell Screen
uses few words but achieve great depth of
7. Oe Kenzaburo- Japanese novelist whose
meaning
works express the disillusionment and
6. Dilemma or Enigma Tale- African moral tale
rebellion of his post-World War II generation.
intended for listeners to discuss and debate. It’s
an open-ended story that concludes with a
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question that asks the audience to choose from cultures. He attended English-speaking schools but
among several alternatives. never lost touch with traditional African values.
7. Ashanti Tale- Exemplifies common occupations Works: Songs of Lawino, Sonf of Ocol, African
of the Ashanti such as farming, fishing and religions and Western Scholarship
weaving. It combines realistic elements with 3. Wole Soyinka- Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist
fantasy elements like talking objects and animals. and critic who was the first black African to be
8. Trickster Tale- The best known African trickster awarded Nobel prize for Literature in 1986. He
figure is Anansi the spider. wrote of modern West African in a satirical style
9. Epic of vanished heroes- partly-human, partly- and with a tragic sense of the obstacles of human
superhuman who embody the highest value of a progress.
society; carry with them a culture’s history, Works: Telephone Conversation
values and traditions 4. Chinua Achebe- Igbo novelist acclaimed for his
unsentimental depictions of the social and
Negritude psychological disorientation accompanying the
Literary movement of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s that imposition of Western customs and values upon
began among French-speaking African and Caribbean traditional African society.
writers living in Paris as a protest against French Works: Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease
colonial rule and the policy of assimilation. Its leading 5. Nadine Gordimer- A writer whose major theme
figure was Léopold Sédar Senghor who began to was exile and alienation. She received the Nobel
examine Western values critically and to reassess Prize for Literature in 1991. She examines how
African culture. public events affect individual lives, how the
“Négritude”, or the self-affirmation of black peoples, or dreams of one’s youth are corrupted and how
the affirmation of the values of civilization of innocence is lost.
something defined as “the black world” as an answer Works: The Soft Voice of the Serpent, Burger’s
to the question “what are we in this white world?” is Daughter, July’s People
indeed “quite a problem.” 6. Bessie Head- described the contradictions and
The term “Négritude” was coined by Césaire in his shortcomings of pre- and postcolonial African
Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return society in morally didactic novels and stories. She
to the Native Land, 1939) and it means, in his words, suffered rejection and alienation from an early age
“The simple recognition of the fact that one is black, being born of an illegal union between her white
the acceptance of this fact and of our destiny as blacks, mother and black father.
of our history and culture.” Works: When the Rain Clouds Gather, Looking for a
The basic ideas behind Negritude include: Rain God
 Africans must look to their own cultural heritage to 7. Barbara Kimenye- Wrote twelve books on
determine the values and traditions that are most children’s short stories known as the Moses series
useful in the modern world. which are now standard reading fare for African
 Committed writers should use African subject school children
matter and poetic traditions should excite a desire 8. Ousmane Sembene Writer and filmmaker from
for political freedom. Senegal. His works reveal an intense commitment
 Negritude itself encompasses the whole African to political and social change.
cultural, economic, and political values. Works: Black Girl
 The value and dignity of African traditions and
people must be asserted.
Major Writers
1. Leopold Sedar Senghor- A poet and statesman
who was cofounder of the Negritude movement in
African art and literature.
Works: Songs of Shadow, Black Offerings
2. Okot P’Bitek- born in Uganda during the British
domination and was embodied in a contrast of
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